How to Make a USB Memory Card for an Xbox 360

Written by karl bruce
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How to Make a USB Memory Card for an Xbox 360
(flash drive image by Jenny Thompson from

Xbox 360 users with a prodigious number of games are always looking for ways to acquire more space for their game saves. Many gamers also prefer to back up their game progress files to ensure against losing them when the Xbox 360 suffers a bug or a crash. Thanks to Microsoft's Spring 2010 upgrade to the Xbox 360's operating system, you can expand your storage space or backup your game saves by turning your everyday USB flash drive into an Xbox 360 memory card.

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Things you need

  • Internet connection
  • USB flash drive

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  1. 1

    Upgrade your Xbox 360 to the latest software patch. Using your Xbox Live Silver or Gold account, log into Xbox Live to receive the latest operating system patch for your console. When this is complete, reboot the machine. Alternatively, acquire the newest update by downloading it to an existing USB flash drive or by burning it to a CD and installing it on the Xbox.

  2. 2

    Connect your USB drive to the console. The Xbox 360 has three USB ports where you can connect your device; two are in the front and one is on the upper back of the device next to the network jack. The drive does not have to be freshly formatted and can contain existing data; however it must have at least 1 gigabyte of free space.

  3. 3

    Format the USB flash drive for use as a memory card. Go to My Xbox and flip through the panels to the right until you reach the last one, marked “System Settings.” Go down two entries to the “Memory” option and select it, then look for the entry marked “USB Storage Device.” To completely erase your USB flash drive for exclusive use as an Xbox memory card, select the “Configure Now” option and confirm in the next screen. To preserve existing data, use the “Customize” menu entry. If you choose “Customize” it will bring you to another screen that asks you how much “Reserved Storage” you wish to allocate as Xbox storage space. You must select more than 1 gigabyte of space. In either case, after a few moments the testing and configuration will finish and it will tell you whether the USB drive is usable as a memory card. If it is deemed by the console as valid as a memory card for the Xbox, you will now be able to use your flash drive as a regular Xbox memory card.

Tips and warnings

  • To avoid erasing existing data on your memory card, use the Customize option when formatting the drive for Xbox 360 compatibility.
  • The Xbox will only work with two user-made USB memory cards at a time.
  • The maximum size of a user-made USB memory card is 16 gigabytes. 512 megabytes of storage space will be lost immediately as it is set aside by the system.
  • Some USB flash drives will not pass the Xbox's testing phase. This means they're either unreliable or too slow for use as a memory card. Choose another flash drive if this is the case.

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